How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers with a File, a Power Grinder, or a Dremel

Nora Held
Nora Held
Research Writer
Apart from being our main writer, Nora also works for a number of gardening-related sites and magazines, sharing her experience as an owner of a small farm in North Carolina read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of read more
Last updated: August 25, 2023 is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Hedge trimmers are super useful tools that will work to help you reduce the stress of maintaining an impressive-looking yard and landscapes. There are two main parts to this tool, the blades, and the motor. Both parts work together to ensure that the yard trimmer works as it should. As you use the trimmer, the blades will lose some of their edges. Therefore, it is important to keep these blades sharp. In this post, we will show you how to sharpen hedge trimmers.

Apart from revealing how to sharpen the blades, we will also reveal to you how often the blades should be sharpened, and other important information that you need to know. You can check this out for the best trimmers for a small hedge.

How often should you sharpen the blades?

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers with a File, a Power Grinder, or a Dremel

Whether you are just starting to use the trimmer or you have been using it for some time, one question that is likely on your mind is how often the blades of the trimmer should be sharpened. Well, the ideal time to sharpen the blades of your hedge trimmer is before you start seeing evidence of wear in the blades. Keep in mind that the lifespan of the trimmer is dependent on your regular maintenance, and that also goes for the blades.

Experts recommend that the blades of the hedge trimmer be sharpened after every 50 hours of use. The benefit, according to them, is that it offers you more consistent use and you will enjoy the trimmer for a long time.

If you aren’t going by that, or are unsure about the timing, when will you know you should sharpen the hedge trimmer?

First of all, you don’t want to wait until the entire blade is blunt and dull. We recommend that you sharpen the blade at least once every month. If you use the trimmer regularly, you might choose to extend that to twice every month.

How to know when to sharpen the blade

Have you observed that your tool is no more as good as it used to be at cutting or trimming hedges? Many users observe this. Different factors might cause this. If so, there are some features or symptoms that you should keep in mind that will indicate that the blades need to be sharpened.

Branches are jammed in the tool

If you are trimming and you observe that the branches tend to stick or jam between the teeth of the trimmer, thus blocking the tool without cutting, then this might be an indication that you need to sharpen the blades. When this happens, it is likely that the two blades of the trimmer no longer meet.

In most cases, though, this is not cause for sharpening, but it means that the spacers between both blades have worn out and need to be replaced.

Branches are not cutting properly

If after an intense evening or afternoon of cutting you observe that instead of straight edges or edges according to your design, there are jagged and uneven edges, then you will need to sharpen the blades of the tool. You can do this yourself by following the steps outlined in this post.

Can you sharpen hedge trimmer blades at home?

When the blades of the trimmer need to be sharpened, some might opt to look for a professional to help them with that. However, you can sharpen the blades of your trimmer at home. These blades can be sharpened by hand, and it is recommended that this is what you do regularly. If you have to tools we have listed in the section above at home, then you can certainly sharpen the blades of your trimmer yourself.

What you’ll need to sharpen the blades

Certain tools are required for sharpening the blades of the trimmer. Here are some of the things that you need to have available:

  • Whetstone
  • Flat file
  • Protective clothing
  • Work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Soft Cloth
  • Water

How to sharpen the blades: Step-by-step instructions

Knowing that you can sharpen the blades at home is a big plus. So, how can you do that? In this section, we give you a systematic description of how to get this done.

Step 1

The first thing to do is to clean the blades. This is important regardless of what you want to use in sharpening the blades. Ensure that there is no dirt or debris on the blade. If there are still impurities on the blades, it can damage the whetstone or file during sharpening.

You can clean the teeth with a soft cloth. Then set the upper and lower blades in the same position.

Step 2

Use the file to sharpen the blade. More information will be provided on this method.

Step 3

After using the file, remove the burrs using the whetstone. Turn the tool over so that you can sharpen the back of the blades.

Step 4

After you have removed the burrs, wipe the blades over with a soft cloth and apply some oil to prevent rusting.

Using a file

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers with a File, a Power Grinder, or a Dremel

Here is how to use a file to sharpen the hedge trimmer.

Using a file is the easiest and most common way to sharpen the blades of the hedge trimmer. As you use the file over each blade, ensure that you move downwards. Do not drag the file on the blade as you return upward.

Grind the blades until the edge is thin and sharp.

Using the file takes time and patience, and many reviews indicate you can do it successfully if you have a file like the Corona AC 8300.

Using a power grinder

If you don’t have time to spend using the file, then you can use the power grinder. It is a quicker way to sharpen the blades. However, it is a more dangerous sharpening method.

If you can use the grinder, then you should use it for the blades. Before you begin sharpening, ensure that the blade is clamped tightly.

Gently apply pressure to the blade’s teeth so as not to shave off more than what you need. It is recommended that you use an 80 or 60 grinding wheel.

If there is still some burr on the blade, you can remove these with the whetstone.

Other ways to sharpen the blades

Apart from the flat file and power grinder, you can also sharpen the blades with a Dremel Trusted Source Dremel - Wikipedia Dremel is an American brand of power tools, focusing on home improvement and hobby applications. .

After cleaning the blades and wearing protective gear, secure the blades to a bench vice. Move the Dremel slowly over the blades gently. Continue this process for all the blades until they are all sharp.

The A679-02 is an excellent tool for anyone that wants to sharpen multiple garden tools.

And here’s a video guide on how to sharpen your hedge trimmer blades using a Dremel.

Safety tips

  • If you are using the power grinder, ensure that it cannot turn on without authorization.
  • Sharpen the blade on a flat, empty surface and ensure that the blade doesn’t move around as you work.
  • Clear the work table and remove any hazardous materials.
  • Always wear protective clothing while sharpening the blades. One of the most important pieces of clothing is a pair of thick, work gloves. You should also look to wear protective eye gear to prevent any debris from getting into your eyes.

Final thoughts

We believe that this post has given you helpful tips on how to sharpen hedge trimmers. While it is easy, the truth is that not everyone can do it or enjoys doing it. If so, you can always hire someone to help you with sharpening the blades. Either way, ensure that the blades are always sharp so that you can get the best from the hedge trimmer.


Dremel - Wikipedia
Dremel is an American brand of power tools, focusing on home improvement and hobby applications.

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